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Victim’s large family attends probation revocation hearing for Stacey R. Motz-Altman, on home detention in 142 mph fatal crash

Stacey Motz-Altman (Photo courtesy of Allen County Sheriff's Departmnt)
The family of Luann Simon, who was killed in September 2016 in a car crash, gather Friday outside the Allen County Courthouse after a hearing to revoke the probation for the woman convicted in the case. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)

Stacey R. Motz-Altman sat in the jury box of an Allen Superior courtroom Friday morning while 24 members of the woman she pleaded guilty to killing in a crash listened to her case.

The 39-year-old Winona Lake woman, sentenced less than a year ago to probation for killing a woman while driving 142 mph, will remain in the Allen County Jail for now as she faces a revocation of her probation for an alleged violation.

Allen County Adult Probation filed a petition May 22 to revoke Motz-Altman’s probation for an alleged alcohol violation. Because she lives in Kosciusko County, that county was overseeing her monitoring. Her lawyer, Bart Arnold, sought to get her out on bond by questioning Kosciusko County’s supervision of her monitoring. That very argument led Magistrate Samuel R. Keirns to deny bond because she needed supervision.

Her next hearing will be June 12, during which Arnold will try to find a placement for her. She has been in custody since Wednesday.

Motz-Altman was sentenced last July to 8½ years on probation with the first year on electronic monitoring after pleading guilty but mentally ill to charges of reckless homicide and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon. Motz-Altman said she was driving to Fort Wayne to get something to eat when her 2015 Infiniti Q50 sedan rammed into the back of 54-year-old Luann Simon’s 2012 Chevrolet Impala at 142 mph before 11 p.m. Sept. 16, 2016, on U.S. 30. The impact shoved Simon’s car into the rear of a semi tractor-trailer and dragged it underneath the semi’s trailer for several hundred feet before stopping. Simon – a custodian at Arcola Elementary School remembered for baking for her family, friends and co-workers – was extricated and taken in critical condition to the hospital, where she later died.

After the crash Motz-Altman was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. She had no drugs or alcohol in her system at the time of the crash, according to an affidavit filed in the case. Simon’s family had supported the sentencing guidelines, which included restitution in the amount of $29,187.39 and an 8½-year driver’s license suspension.

Simon left behind 15 brothers and sisters as well as many in-laws and nieces and nephews who were represented by the two dozen who showed up Friday, said Carol Richardson, her sister-in-law.

However, the alleged violation has created anger among them.

“She plowed into Luann,” Jody Richardson, another sister-in-law, said. However, with the electronic monitoring Motz-Altman “gets to live her life.”

Simon’s family expects to have even more members at that hearing because school will be out, Carol Richardson said.